Clyde finally out of Scottish football's bottom tier after beating Annan in play-off final

After a tortuous journey lasting nine long years Clyde's route out of Scottish football's bottom tier has finally been navigated successfully.
Tom Lang and Mark Lamont show their delight after Clyde's winTom Lang and Mark Lamont show their delight after Clyde's win
Tom Lang and Mark Lamont show their delight after Clyde's win

There have been twists. There have been turns. There have been dead ends along the road.

But unlike the victim of an errant satnav which leaves you staring in bewilderment at an unfamiliar, barren landscape, Clyde HAVE reached their destination.

Well, maybe not quite. As a club whose size and history probably makes the Championship their natural habitat, the picky might argue they haven't quite got there yet.

But they are, at last, heading in the right direction.

A play-off win over Annan Athletic, thanks to goals from former Galabank players Martin McNiff and Ally Love, got them over the line.

It was deserved. But it was a long time in coming as the nerves of the long-suffering Bully Wee support were stretched just that bit further.

Even allowing for the inevitable, palpable tension, Clyde started well.

There was an early scare when Tony Wallace rifled a strike from 20 yards just wide of the target.

But in general Danny Lennon's troops had their opponents hemmed in for long spells.

The goal wouldn't come though, Annan keeper Alex Mitchell taking more responsibility than most for that with terrific stops to deny Kristoffer Syvertsen and Scott Banks.

It was a big call by Lennon to start the on-loan Dundee United teenager in such a vital game, but his faith was more than adequately repaid.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Clyde 2 Annan Athletic 0

Annan did have chances after the break, Christian Nade clipping the top of the bar with a header before failing to get the rebound past Blair Currie, and then similarly failing to find the net when a Tom Lang howler let him in on goal.

But in the main it was Clyde on the front foot with Banks at the heart of much of their good work.

His trickery and footwork had bewildered Annan defenders backpedalling on a regular basis and he peppered the goal with shots which were either just off target or brought out the best in Mitchell.

The Annan keeper also produced a remarkable stop to keep out a piledriver of a volley from Ray Grant.

But the breakthrough finally came on the hour. Annan were unable to clear their lines from a Mark Lamont corner and the ball eventually fell for McNiff to lash home from close range.

David Goodwillie's departure through injury wasn't in Clyde's script. But a quick rewrite with his replacement Love as the central character provided Clyde with the happy ending they were looking for.

With five minutes left Love was a adjudged by Bobby Madden to have been pushed as tried to get his head to a Mark Lamont cross. To say Annan were unimpressed would be putting it mildly.

But a penalty it was and Love showed nerves of steel to beat Mitchell from the spot and put the Bully Wee on the brink of the promised land.

There was still time for hearts to be placed in mouths as Tommy Muir headed over from inside the Clyde six-yard box.

But Clyde wouldn't be denied. They're on the way back. At last.